Hanukkah has very few requirements:
- Lighting candles and placing them in the window or outside near the doorpost of your home when in Israel.
- Four short blessings are said before and after you light your candles.
- Celebration in the house with games, stories and food.
But it’s all done with music and song!
When the candles are prepared in the menorah or hanukkiah, a candle for each night in ascending order from 1 – 8, we do this:
After the candles are lit, we say a brief warning to all. The candles are not used for earthly purposes other than to shine and glow for us and the world outside our windows.
Hanerot Halalu is a traditional prayer sung after the lighting of the menorah.
We kindle these lights on account of the miracles, the deliverances and the wonders which thou didst work for our fathers, by means of thy holy priests.
During all the eight days of Chanukah, these lights are sacred, neither is it permitted us to make any profane use of them; but we are only to look at them, in order that we may give thanks unto thy name for thy miracles, thy deliverances and thy wonders.
We then we sing Maoz Tsur.
What about food?
The Rabbis decreed, “There is no celebration without food.”
Traditional foods are potato pancakes fried in oil – latkes and oil-fried donuts -sufganiyot.
And who says you can’t have a festive meal together?
That’s it, folks!
Chanukkah Sameach! Happy Hanukkah!
PS: You can spell it any way you like – Chanukkah, Hanuka, Hannukkah, Hanukkah – as long as you light the candles, sing the blessings and enjoy the people and the food together.